O Mother dear, didst thou but hear
My plaint of desolation,
Thy tender heart would burst apart
With grief of separation!
I am not stone, yet all alone
I hush My soul’s outcrying, --
Alone to tread the wine-press red,
To bear the pain of dying.
My lips are dumb, the night has come;
Ah! Solace I might borrow
Had I but thee to bide with Me
In this wild waste of sorrow.
“Gentle moon and start of midnight,
Golden apples born of sunshine,
Precious pearls and jewels rare, --
All things glorious, all things shining,”
Thus the sorrowing Mother spake;
“E’en ye bright, transfigured faces,
Mourn with me for Jesus’ sake.
“Sparkle, gleam, and glow no longer:
Only moan and mourn for Him.
Shine not, shine not, weep forever,
Till your thousand eyes are dim;
For the mighty One has fallen,
And my Beautiful is slain;
In the dense wood pierced, my Shepherd, --
Weep ye, weep ye for my pain!
O most oppressed of all oppressed,
Heart of my heart, my all, my Son!
Grief’s keenest sword doth pierce my breast:
I die with Thee, my only one!
Alas! the pain is all too great,
Since, living, still I share Thy fate.
“Yes, mine Thou wert to bear and rear
Through life and light, and pain and loss;
And now, ten thousand times more dear,
I yield Thee to the cruel cross!”
-“Dialogue at the Cross,” Frederick Spee, S. J. (1591-1635)
translated from the German by Mary E. Mannix